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Periodic table of the elements with the common elements from the Earth's crust highlighted with white.
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L.Gardiner/Windows to the Universe

Elements in the Earth’s Crust

Even though there are 92 elements that naturally occur, only eight of them are abundant in the rocks that make up the Earth’s outer layer, the crust. Together, these 8 elements account for 98.5% of the crust.

The 8 most abundant elements in Earth’s crust (by mass):
46.6% Oxygen (O)
27.7% Silicon (Si)
8.1% Aluminum (Al)
5.0% Iron (Fe)
3.6% Calcium (Ca)
2.8% Sodium (Na)
2.6% Potassium (K)
2.1% Magnesium (Mg)

The picture on the left shows where these elements are located within the periodic table. Together, the elements oxygen and silicon make up most of the Earth’s crust including silicate minerals such as quartz and feldspar.


Last modified November 13, 2007 by Lisa Gardiner.

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The Fall 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, focuses on rocks and minerals, including articles on minerals and mining, the use of minerals in society, and rare earth minerals, and includes 3 posters!

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